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May 2017
 Newsletter Editor:  Heather Blessing, MA, LMFT
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 Newsletter Highlights & Important Information


We are now at at Rancho Cordova City Hall - Click Here for Directions   
Special Feature -
Permission to Be A “Squishy” Therapist: A Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher Reflects on Imperfection and the Clinical Encounter by Dr. Sean Cook PsyD

We want to thank our amazing volunteers for the month of April:
Carolyn Nelson
Clare Brown

Letter from the Board

May 1, 2017

Hello Member

Thank you. It has been a pleasure serving as President over the last four months of continued growth due to the outstanding effort of our Board members.  In April the Executive Committee met to review and make recommendations on committee proposals as part of our strategic plan development.   And, with at or near sellout events, our fiscal house is strong. 

That said, despite it feeling like the beginning of summer--it is Spring after all--it can be easy to unintentionally drown ourselves in activities and work projects all in the name of vacations and holidays, or perhaps not feel able to have fun due to loss. So, this Friday our monthly workshop is Learning to Breathe Underwater: Compassion for Caregivers, presented by Sean Cook, PsyD and Luana Coloma Cook, PsyD, and our 3000 Club Meeting topic is on Grief, Loss and Trauma, presented by Laura Sullivan, LMFT.

Don't forget your law and ethics requirement. This year we are holding to tradition with our annual training in July. We offer options for both 6 CEU and 12 CEU requirements, as applicable. We look forward to both David Jensen and Darlene Davis presenting for us this year.  For more info click here.

Also, this week CAMFT is hosting its yearly conference in Santa Clara. President-Elect, Talal Alsaleem, LMFT and I will be in attendance.  We look forward to representing SVC at the event and having the opportunity to meet with our members.

All the best,

David Clark

  This issue:
· Letter From the Board
· Legal Beagle

· Presentation Summary
· Upcoming Event
· Upcoming Board Meetings

· Special Feature
· Letters to the Editor

· Psyched about Books and Movies

· Paid MFT Internships
· Advertising and Announcements

· Advertising Policy for the Newsletter


David Clark, MFT Intern

Talal Alsaleem, LMFT

Past President:
Patricia Saint James, LMFT

Adriana Joyner, LMFT

Billy Schult, MFT Intern

Program Co-Chairs:

Nate Hooper, LMFT
Susan Martin, MFT Trainee

3000 Club Chair:
Suzy Lee, LMFT

Volunteer Chair:
Angie Moxey, LMFT

Membership Chair:

Jessica Wolff, LMFT

Sponsorship Co-Chairs:


Legal Beagle

dectective.pngWelcome to the section of the SVC-CAMFT newsletter, Legal Beagle written by Darlene Davis, LMFT. The chapter thought it would be helpful to keep you updated on new laws, legislative pursuits or actions, as well as ongoing legaland ethical dilemmas we all face in our career as Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, Interns, and Trainees. Please feel free to ask questions that you have and I will do my best to investigate and post your answer in the newsletter. Please note that articles are based on information from CAMFT and/or the BBS and have been researched to the best of my ability. This is not meant to be legal advice.  Please contact CAMFT or Board of Behavioral Sciences for any legal matters you need assistance for.


This is a quarterly column.  You can always send questions to info@svccamft.org with any questions you want answered in this column.


Darlene Davis, LMFT Executive Director HOPE; Healthy Outcomes for Personal Enrichment MFT Stipend Coordinator for Greater Sacramento Instructor of University of Phoenix www.darlenedavismft.com www.hope-counselingcenter.org

if you are an intern and need the new Law and Ethics training - go to http://www.darlenedavismft.com/Services-for-Interns---Trainees.html


  April Presentation Summary

BrainSpotting: Brain Imaging: The Neurobiological Underpinnings of Behavior and its Impact on Therapy
(2 CEs)

Dr. Daniel Emina from the Amen Clinic


SVC-CAMFT’s April 2017 workshop was led by Dr. Daniel Emina from the Amen Clinic. Dr. Emina explained the Amen Clinic's holistic approach that encompassed detailed Bio\Psych\Social\Spiritual histories, Cognitive and Emotional Testing, SPECT Neuro Imaging, Targeted Lab Studies and Pharmacogenomics.  He explained what SPECT Neuro Imaging was and how it can help us help our clients.  He explained that individualized treatment plans were important, by understanding how each client is unique and although sometimes the symptoms can look similar the root cause may be different and that is why it is important to look at all aspects of client health.  Dr. Emina gave shared his knowledge of so many key factors and areas to look when diagnosing a client and explained how each of these factors can affect other factors and symptoms.  It was amazing how much information he was able to present in 2 hours in an easy to understand format.


May Events


Topic:**Free** Pre-Licensed 3000 Club Meeting -  Grief, Loss and Trauma
Laura Sullivan, LMFT
Date: Friday, May 5. 2017
Time: 8:30am to 9:30am
Location:  Rancho Cordova City Hall,
                2729 Prospect Park Drive,
                Rancho Cordova, CA 95670 (map)
Free Coffee and Donuts
Space is limited so please register here and make sure you list any questions or topics you want covered by the BBS.
Workshop Information:  Laura Sullivan, LMFT will be discussing grief, loss and trauma  therapeutic techniques.

Presenter Bio: Laura Sullivan, LMFT specializes in grief, loss and trauma.  She runs a Bereaved Moms group for moms who have lost children to suicide. 

** Please be courteous and send us an email at info@svccamft.org if you are unable to attend after you have registered. **


Topic:  Learning to Breathe Underwater: Self-Compassion for Caregivers
Sean Cook PsyD and Luana Coloma Cook PsyD
Date:  Friday, May 5, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM to 12:00PM
Location: Rancho Cordova City Hall,
                2729 Prospect Park Drive,
                Rancho Cordova, CA 95670 (map)

Doors Open at 9:00 AM
Networking & Registration starts at 9:00 AM

This program will benefit LMFT, LPCC, LEP and LCSW licensees and pre licensees. Our presentation on self-compassion offers an introduction to a research-based program (MSC) associated with a wide range of positive clinical outcomes. There is growing research that when therapists themselves practice self-compassion they are more empathic with their clients, able to more effectively regulate their own emotions, less vulnerable to burnout, and more competent overall.

Includes: Breakfast and meets the qualifications for 2 hours of continuing education credit for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.  Sacramento Valley Chapter of California Marriage and Family Therapist CAMFT CEPA CE Provider #62279 CE Credit will be awarded on site and to participants at completion of the course. 
No CEs will be awarded to persons arriving late or leaving early. Partial CE credit will not be awarded.

Workshop Information:

This presentation will draw from the Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) program developed by Kristin Neff, Ph.D., and Christopher Germer, Ph.D. Both presenters are Trained MSC Teachers. Over the past decade an increasingly large body of research by Neff and others has linked self-compassion to trauma resiliency, body satisfaction and appreciation, healthy aging, decreased depression, decreased anxiety, increased relationship satisfaction, and maintenance of health-related behaviors like diet and exercise. This presentation will offer an introduction to self-compassion practice. Opportunities for experiential learning will be provided.

9:00 am Registration Starts
9:00am - 9:45am - Networking
9:45am - 10:00am - Announcements
10:00am - 11:00am - Workshop
11:00am - 11:10am - Break
11:10am - noon - workshop
noon - Workshop Ends

Learning Objectives:
Identify the three components of self-compassion

Give examples of common misgivings with self-compassion and explain the misconceptions that underlie these misgivings

Learn a simple self-compassion practice

Presenter Bios:
Sean is a licensed psychologist and co-owner of Three Rivers Mindfulness Training and Psychotherapy—a small group practice serving children, teens, families, adults, and couples in Sacramento and Davis. He specializes in mindfulness training and attachment-based approaches to relationship distress, depression, and anxiety. He is a certified Emotionally Focused Couples Therapist (EFT) and a trained Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) teacher.

Luana Coloma Cook, Psy.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist who has spent her professional career collaborating with families and educators. Luana is co-owner of Three Rivers Mindfulness Training and Psychotherapy where she specializes in supporting couples, families, parents, children/adolescents, and teachers to develop brain-based knowledge, attachment-wise caregiving, and compassion.

Register and pay online or register online and pay at the door with check or cash.

Early registration ends Tuesday, May 2nd Early registration rates*:

2017 Licensed, Associate or Affiliate Member of SVC-CAMFT or a local chapter of CAMFT: $20

2017 Pre-Licensed Member of SVC-CAMFT or a local chapter of CAMFT: $15

Non-Member: $30

*Add $5 for late or "at-door" registration

For information on joining SVC-CAMFT or renewing your membership for 2017 please email: info@svccamft.org

Refund Policy
Cancellations received more than 7 days prior to an event may be subject to an administrative fee to cover costs of the initial transaction.  No shows, failure to attend, and cancellations 7 or fewer days prior to an event for any reason are non-refundable, including registrations received fewer than 7 days prior to an event. No credit, refunds, or price adjustments will be given for typographical advertisement errors. A $25 fee in addition to the registration fee will be charged for insufficient funds, denied credit cards, or charge-backs. By registering for the event you agree to the terms of the Refund Policy.

Grievance Policy is located here.

To request accommodations for a disability for any of our events contact our Administrative Assistant at info@svccamft.org

2017 Upcoming Workshops

 Date CEs Topic Speaker Location         
 May 5
 2 Mindful Self-Compasion Sean Cook PsyD
 Rancho Cordova City Hall (map)
 June 2
 Rancho Cordova City Hall (map)
 July 28 & 29
 12 2 Day Law and Ethics
 David Jensen & Darlene Davis
 Rancho Cordova City Hall (map)
 September 1
 2 Psychodrama Kathy Campbell
 Rancho Cordova City Hall (map)
 October 6
 6 Sex Addiction
 Robert Weiss
 Rancho Cordova City Hall (map)
November 3
 2 What Every Therapist Should Know About Insurance - Even If You Want Nothing To Do With It
 Barbara Griswold
Rancho Cordova City Hall (map)

Upcoming Board Meetings

Board Meetings are FREE for anyone to attend BUT you MUST register so we have an accurate headcount.
To Register click on the board meeting(s) you wish to attend.


Special Feature

Permission to Be A “Squishy” Therapist: A Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher Reflects on Imperfection and the Clinical Encounter

By: Sean Cook, Psy.D.

The other day, I was changing my shirt and my four-year old daughter offered some uninvited consolation.  “We’re all a little squishy, Dad,” she said in a comforting tone, as she pointed at my belly. Despite being a relatively thin man, I felt a bit stung by her comment, and a few minutes later I caught myself probing the squishiness in question with a disapproving index finger. As I’ve reflected on it in the days since, I think my daughter was speaking from a place of wisdom that we lose as we get older. She was inviting me into the shared human experience. Sadly our culture has already communicated to my daughter that we shouldn’t be squishy (thus her comforting tone); meanwhile she has observed the reality that most of us are at least a little squishy. We strive for culturally-constructed notions of perfection, which are forever at odds with the universal imperfection of the human experience. Even though I’m not a particularly squishy fellow, some part of me heard my daughter’s words and went, “Uh oh…she’s spotted a flaw! Alert!  Alert!”  As I’ve mulled this moment over in my mind, “squishy” has become a stand-in for imperfection in general and I’ve enjoyed mentally repeating, “We’re all a little squishy” in moments when I’ve made a mistake, fallen short, or I feel embarrassed or anxious. For me, this phrase is a doorway into an experience of common humanity—the felt sense of belonging to a global community comprised of imperfect others suffering just like I do.

This experience of common humanity is one of the three components of self-compassion identified by psychological researcher Kristin Neff. The other two are mindfulness and self-kindness. Mindfulness—or present moment, nonjudgmental awareness—allows us to recognize that we are suffering in the moment that we are suffering without over-identifying with our thoughts and feelings. This is a crucial component in self-compassion, because we can’t offer ourselves compassion if we don’t know we’re in pain. Self-kindness is simply treating ourselves in a friendly way—so if we make a mistake, we might respond with comfort and support rather than with harsh criticism or intense pressure to improve.

Self-compassion has been getting a lot of attention recently due to a promising body of research.  Studies by Neff and others have linked self-compassion to trauma resiliency, body satisfaction and appreciation, healthy aging, decreased depression, decreased anxiety, decreased burnout, increased relationship satisfaction, and maintenance of health-related behaviors like diet and exercise. Hundreds of articles on the topic can be found here: http://self-compassion.org/the-research/

For the past several years, my wife, Luana, and I have been co-teaching the 8-week Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) course developed by Neff and her colleague Christopher Germer. We make no secret about the fact that we teach the course because we need the practices ourselves. These practices have redefined how we experience ourselves as spouses, parents, and human beings. We are particularly excited to be sharing some of the resources from MSC with the SVC-CAMFT community on May 5 because of how much self-compassion has offered us as therapists.

What we all do for a living is hard. To sit across from a human being who is suffering and to allow our own nervous system to resonate with theirs is quite literally painful. In our presentation, we’ll talk a bit more about why that is and how compassion can help with vicarious suffering and the burnout that can follow. Here, I’d like to focus on another aspect of challenge in the therapeutic encounter—making mistakes and feeling badly about it. The therapeutic field is full of uncertainty and ambiguity. Speaking personally, this is part of what I love about it. It is often in the unknown and the unsteady that we feel most alive. At the same time, working to attune to another human being in an ambiguous, ever-changing field means that we are bound to make mistakes. I once attended a talk with psychologist Jessica Benjamin in which she normalized therapeutic misattunement.  I remember her saying, “the essence of therapy is that we make a mess and then we clean it up together.” I find the normalization of the mess so helpful. Although I am now many years post-licensure and have built a successful practice where I offer supervision and consultation to others, I still have moments of feeling like an imposter—like at the base of it all, I haven’t got a clue what I’m doing. In those moments, my chest feels tight, my face feels hot, and my mind is full of shuddering, incomplete thoughts that double-back on themselves even as I try to grab hold of them, hoping for a free ride out of that feeling.

In the past, when those moments happened in session, my inner critic used to rush to my aid—ever the harsh coach, he demanded better of me even as he confirmed my worst fears about myself: “Yeah that last thing you said really didn’t make sense. You really don’t know what you’re doing. You better think of something to say fast or this person is going to discover the terrible truth about you.” As we’ll be talking about in our presentation, the nervous system experiences criticism, whether internal or external, as a threat. So by sending me into a threat response, my go-to coach had a way of making me less creative, less emotionally available, and less skillful.

Since incorporating daily self-compassion practice into my life, I have a new, more compassionate coach. Now when I miss one of my clients and he looks down, jaw tightening in tenderhearted frustration, I hear my coach say to me with a smile, “We’re all a little squishy.” This act of internal kindness brings me back into the fold, and I remember that every therapist knows what it is to miss their client, and that being a therapist is a challenging gig. My body relaxes and I feel less alone in my experience. As any good attachment therapist will tell you, feeling connected is feeling safe, and in the embrace of this safety, my creativity, empathy, and skill begins to come back online. I lean in with safe eyes and a gentle smile—one squishy human silently asking another, “please tell me again…I want to know...what is it to be you right now?”




The views expressed in the Special Feature Articles do not necessarily reflect the Sacramento Valley Chapter of CAMFT or CAMFT. They should be understood as the personal opinions of the author. No information in this article will be understood as official.  Other views and commentary are welcome and will be published as long as they are respectful and stick to the topic.

Letters to the Editor
Welcome to the Letters to the editor Section.  We want to hear what you want to say about SVC-CAMFT, CAMFT, current events and issues.  Please see below guidelines on submitting a letter.

 We Have No Letters to the Editor!  Let your voice be heard!  Write a letter to the editor!

 Letters to the Editor Guidelines
  • You must be a current SVC-CAMFT member.
  • You cannot be a SVC-CAMFT board member or employee.
  • It must be no more than 250 words.
  • You must send in your full name so I can verify that you are a member.
  • If you wish your name not to be published please indicate.
  • Any letter published without a name will be listed as Anonymous MFT or Anonymous pre-license or Anonymous Associate
  • All letters must be respectful and without inappropriate words or phrases including name calling.
  • Please send your letters to info@svccamft.org
  • If you do not get a response back within 2 days that it has been received please email back.
  • If there is a problem with the letter (language, misspellings, length or appropriateness) you will receive an email back with the reason for the rejection and a chance to fix the problem and send it back in. 


Psyched about Books and Movies

Welcome to "Psyched about Books and Movies!"  Each month we include a book or movie review by one of our readers.  Please see below guidelines on submitting a review. 

Title: Hidden Figures
Rating: PG
Release Date: April 11, 2017
Reviewer: Heather Blessing, LMFT

Hidden Figures tells the true stories of 3 women of color at NASA during the time of the "space race".  Even now women are often considered "less than" when it comes to mechanical engineering, computer programming, and mathematics.  There is so many lessons in this movie, such as being willing to ask, standing up for yourself, hard work is rewarded and also how history is filtered by who is telling the story.  I used to be a network engineer, I have studied women engineers for years - I had never heard of these women, they some how have been left out of our history - so glad they were put in.


Book/Movie Review Submission Policy

All reviews are not to exceed 1000 key strokes.
Your review should include the title, a short synopsis about why you like or dislike it, and the author’s name & publication date.You can also include a picture of the book and/or movie. After review, we will publish your review in our next newsletter. Reviews submitted that are longer than 1000 characters will be returned for editing. It is best to type your review in a Microsoft Word document to note how many key strokes (characters with spaces), how big your review is, and for your own record keeping. You can then copy and paste it into the online submission form located here (http://www.svccamft.org/Newsletter.html) To learn more about checking your review for key strokes, spelling grammar and size click below: (http://www.svccamft.org/How_to_check_review_in_microsoft_word.doc).

It is your responsibility to check for spelling and grammar errors.  Reviews must be received by the 20th of the month in order to appear in the next newsletter.

You can submit your review by: Visiting our webpage: www.svccamft.org

Mailing it in: P.O. Box 163385, Sacramento, CA 95816


Paid Internships
Listing Provided by:

Prelicensed is a free resource for MFT registered interns, trainees, and students in California. We offer numerous services that are designed to help you prepare and prevail over the course of your journey to licensure

 - Sacramento, CA - Stanford Youth Solutions

ASW/MFTi Clinician - Sacramento, CA - Sharper Future

Registered Mental Health Clinician (Children’s Services) - Sacramento, CA - Uplift Family Services


For more job listings and other free resources, visit Prelicensed!

Advertising and Announcements


HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY Sacramento is small private mental health clinic that specializes in Intensive Outpatient Programs. We treat our patients from a holistic perspective. Our goal is to remove obstacles from healing and help our patients create a life of authenticity and self-management. Our programs are covered by insurance for children, teens and adults with the following conditions: Trauma, including Medical Trauma and Chronic Pain, Mood and Anxiety Problems, Food Dysregulations, Autism Spectrum and Behavior Problems. Patients generally continue to see their primary therapist while attending IOP treatment.  Please visit our website at wwww.HealthPsychologySacramento.com


Law Offices of Joseph C. George, Ph.D.
Licensed Psychologist (PSY 7480)
Attorney at Law (SBN 119231)
Free consultation.
Website: www.psyclaw.com
Telephone: 916.641.7300


NEW: Lovely office in a historic building in East Sacramento near McKinley Park - walk to the Rose Garden! Wifi, community kitchen, waiting room. Congenial, easy-going, warm, professional environment. All inclusive $495/month. Please contact Shauna gushauna@yahoo.com 530/263-3978


Advertising Policy for the Newsletter

All ads and reviews are not to exceed 1000 key strokes. Chapter members advertise at no cost. Non-members can advertise about employment opportunities at no cost. Non-members, non employment-related ads follow these rates:


$10 for 200 key strokes

$20 for 201-600 key strokes

$30 for 601-1000 key strokes

Full page and ½ page ads are not accepted.


All ads contain text only; no graphics will be included.

Ads submitted that are longer than 1000 characters will be returned for editing. It is best to type your ad in a Microsoft Word document to note how many characters, how big your ad is, and for your own record keeping. Please visit our site to find more information on how to use Microsoft word for editing. You can then copy and paste it on our online submission form located here (http://www.svccamft.org/Newsletter.html)

It is your responsibility to check for spelling and grammar errors.


Ads must be received by the 25th of the month in order to appear in the next newsletter. Ads are placed in the order that they are received.


You can submit and pay for your ad by:


Visiting our webpage: www.svccamft.org

Mailing in payment: P.O. Box 163385, Sacramento, CA 95816

Emailing the Newsletter Editor: info@svccamft.org

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